Spencer Kane’s



The BR Standard Class 7, or Britannia Class, was a class of Pacific locomotives designed by Robert Riddles for mixed traffic work for British Railways. Fifty-five were constructed between 1951 and 1954 to a design meant to take the best from locos of the four pre-nationalization railways, and incorporate labour-saving measures, lowered maintenance costs and various weight-saving measures. All were were constructed at Crewe Works. The class was popular with drivers although in some areas they had difficulties keeping to schedules.

The Britannias took their names from great Britons, former Star Class locomotives, and Scottish firths. The class remained in service until the end of steam in 1968. Two survive into preservation, number 70000 Britannia, and 70013 Oliver Cromwell.

This impressive model in 5” gauge by Spencer Kane was shown at the Harrogate exhibition in 2014. It is not difficult to see why the ‘Brit’ has proved such a popular model in every gauge. First model was in 3.5” gauge, designed by LBSC. Riddles was a Curly fan and they had corresponded while the new locomotives were being built in secret, and a set of drawings was sent. On the day that Britannia was unveiled, 1 February 1951, the first instalment for the Britannia ‘words and music’ appeared. The grateful publishers at Model Engineer rewarded the scoop with double pay for the serial. Latest design in 5” gauge is from Doug Hewson and a GA is available here.